I started this blog about 18 months ago with the purpose of sharing my travel stories and inspiring others to travel. Then, I became obsessed with the “Stats” page…and scrutinized every post while asking myself why I wasn’t getting more visitors, likes, followers, etc. I started changing my writing style, writing on a variety of topics…all in an effort to see that blue bar rise. And still nothing changed. It was like I was banging my head against a brick internet wall. Why weren’t people catching on to my blog? Am I not interesting? Maybe my writing sucks? I know it can’t be my sense of humor because I’m funny, dangit! All of these questions I asked during my downward blog spiral. I began to question myself. And you can’t question yourself or your abilities if you expect to be successful.
During my downward spiral (which thankfully didn’t include bath salts & binge drinking), I realized 2 things: 1) I had gotten away from the original purpose of my blog and made it all about me; and 2) I found some awesome bloggers who inspired ME!
Before I became obsessed with stats, I enjoyed writing. And I think it showed in my work. I’ve had so many people say that I should turn my travel tales into a book. Unfortunately, I started to write my book proposal during The Dark Times (which is basically when I got caught up in stat whoring). The proposal was going nowhere. I had absolutely nothing to say…I couldn’t articulate the concept of my book to save my life!! Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to pitch my travel show idea…and cannot seem to formulate the words to adequately convey how awesome my idea is. It’s like I was stuck. But last week while enjoying the sun & beach in Cancun, it hit me. I can’t write my proposals because I don’t believe in myself since I felt like my blog had failed. Which is so crazy in hindsight.
People define success in so many different ways. So why am I choosing to define myself as a failure when I have successes? One being that my blog post on the Warrior Dash was recently published in Obstacle Racing Magazine in December 2012…which was major for me since it was the first time I’ve ever seen my work in print!
I’ve also had the major blessing of being inspired by so many awesome bloggers here on WordPress! Whenever I start to doubt myself, I go to Candy Coated Reality to get inspiration & motivation. Lesley Carter has a totally fabulous blog called Bucket List Publications…and let me tell you, this is THE place to go if you are trying to figure out what to put on your bucket list. Whenever I need a laugh, I love to read Sandee’s 1800ukillme blog (her post on “Chilean bass sex tapes” will have you on the floor). I’ve also found some beautiful places to visit by reading the awesome travel blogs of Tvor Travels, Still Times, Toemail, and A Traveller’s Tale (just to name a few). I am even inspired to take more time to explore my own city due to reading Aaron’s The Adventures of Elatlboy blog (and he takes some pretty cool photos too).
So, I guess it comes down to realizing that when you feel uninspired, take a step back and connect with others. Believe in yourself and define your own success rather than relying on others to validate you. I choose to believe that success happens in stages…and this is but one link in a massive chain of success. Before I sit down to finally finish my proposals, I think I’m going to break up with my Stats page…because clearly things haven’t been working out.
Thanks for reading and as always…happy travels!
P.S. I’m always looking for new inspiration, so please let me know of any blogs you’d like to recommend! Thx!